“My son was not supposed to attend school this year because we couldn’t afford his school supplies but now, he finally can,” Sitio Target resident Harriet Castillo enthusiastically exclaimed.
A mother of two, Harriet admits to having a hard time making ends meet especially with her husband losing his job as a construction worker due the pandemic.
“We barely have enough money for food; what more for the school supplies of our eldest son Shean,” the 33 year-old mother lamented.
Shean, who is now in sixth grade, was also about to lose hope until their football coach announced that their team will be receiving materials for schooling and sports equipment.
“I really didn’t want to go to school because I didn’t have any notebooks or pencils and my uniform was already worn out. But now that I have these, I don’t see any reason to skip school anymore when it reopens”, the 11 year-old boy added.
Shean is just one of about 50 Aeta kids from the Sitio Target in Sapang Bato who were given school supplies, hygiene and first aid kits, foldable tents, and football uniforms through the partnership of Widus Foundation Inc. (WFI) and JCI Angeles City Culiat with Luenthai Corp. under the Goal Project.
The Goal Project is a three-year campaign of JCI and Luenthai for the indigenous children of Sitio Target. This program aims to help support the community’s character building by advocating sports and its virtues of discipline, dedication, commitment, and sportsmanship.
Members of the Goal Football Club of Sitio Target line up as they receive their bag of school supplies complete with hygiene kit, tent and new sports uniform from Widus Foundation Inc. and JCI Culiat Angeles.
“We are always glad to be of service to our Aeta neighbors together with our community partners. We hope that these gifts would keep them inspired in pursuing their education and their love for sports. We at WFI have always been committed to supporting the indigenous community for the long haul,” WFI Executive Director Neki Liwanag said.
For his part, Aeta football coach Aries De Vera expressed his gratitude for the donations which he described as “timely blessings” since they have always been faced with challenges such as lack of funds for food, football equipment, trainings and even basic gears like sports shoes and proper uniform.
“We are very grateful to WFI, JCI and Luenthai for tirelessly supporting our Aeta youth since 2018. These donations made the kids so happy and it has truly boosted their confidence to not only persevere in their studies but also perform well during their games,” De Vera added.
In 2018, WFI inked a memorandum of agreement with JCI wherein P.5M was given for the funding of the first AETA Kids Football Cup alongside providing school supplies, football equipment, trainings and other essentials for the program.
Widus Foundation, Inc. (WFI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization established on June 16, 2017 as the corporate social responsibility and social development arm of Widus Hotel and Casino. It was established to have a more committed, efficient and regular way of helping the community through education, health and disaster response.